The focus of the event was to discuss ways of improving supports for people with learning disabilities when accused of an offence. This covered the stages of the criminal justice pathway from the point of arrest, to custody, to standing trial in court.
The event provided an opportunity for a range of professionals from all sectors, and people with learning disabilities with experience of the criminal justice system, to engage with the discussion on this complex subject.
The findings report from the SOLD conference in August: ‘Improving support for the accused person with a learning disability from arrest through to court’ is available now to download for free.
A wish list of supports, produced by The SOLD User group formed the focal point for discussion. Download the discussion paper (PDF), which includes the User group’s wish list.
Videos of event
The event was Chaired by Sheriff Andrew Cubie, Deputy Director of the Judicial Institute, and included keynote presentations, available to watch in video format, from:
- Steve Robertson, Director, People First (Scotland)
Improving support for the accused person with a learning disability from arrest to court
- Lady Dorrian, Lord Chief Justice Clerk
Offenders with Learning Difficulties – An Even Playing Field?
- Iain Burke, Law Society of Scotland
Supports available to people, prior and during the court process
- Alison Di Rollo, Solicitor General, COPFS
- Joyce Plotnikoff, Director, Lexicon Ltd
Intermediaries in England and Wales: Messages for the developing role of appropriate adult in Scotland
To watch videos of Sheriff Andrew Cubie’s opening address and summing up of the event, and for the panel discussion, please see:
- Opening address – Sheriff Andrew Cubie
- Summing Up – Sheriff Andrew Cubie
- Panel discussion – Improving support for the accused person with a learning disability from arrest through to and including the court process
To read a brief biography of each key speaker, please see : Keynote speakers (pdf)
The Scottish Government is currently reviewing the provision of Appropriate Adult services. This event will help to ensure that changes to the current provision will address the needs of people with learning disabilities and will provide the support they require to be treated fairly in the Justice system.
All information gathered from discussion at the event is being collated into a report, which will be disseminated widely. It will also contribute to the consultation process on Appropriate Adult services.
Analysis of findings
Full analysis of findings from both the questionnaire and the round table discussions can be read below:
- Questionnaire findings (PDF)
- Round table discussion findings (PDF)
- Background information to the topics discussed at the event (PDF)
SOLD believes there is an opportunity for the Scottish Justice system to become the world leader for fair access to justice for people with learning disabilities.
If you were unable to attend the event, but would like to receive a copy of the report, please contact: